WSU president John Bardo, recovering from surgeries, names acting president

Wichita State University President John Bardo (June 14, 2013)
Wichita State University President John Bardo (June 14, 2013) The Wichita Eagle

Wichita State University President John Bardo has requested that Provost Richard Muma serve as acting president while Bardo continues to recover from lung surgeries, the university announced Wednesday.

Bardo was hospitalized in November with a chronic lung condition and was expected to return to campus this month.

On Wednesday, the university said in a news release that Bardo “is focusing on his recovery from November and December surgeries for a lung condition” and requested that Muma serve as acting president.

“Muma and Chief of Staff Andy Schlapp met with President Bardo on Tuesday,” the news release said. “In that meeting, the president emphasized sustaining momentum in enrollment, research, fundraising and addressing workforce needs to build the regional economy.”

University officials said Bardo remains hospitalized as he recovers from two lung surgeries — one in November and one in December.

“It’s too early to know” when he might return to his post, said Lou Heldman, WSU’s vice president for strategic communication.

“Muma will work closely with members of the Executive Team, deans, constituent group presidents and president’s staff to keep the university’s agenda on track,” the news release said.

Bardo, 70, has been WSU’s president since 2012. He was admitted to the hospital just before Thanksgiving and was “being treated for a flare-up of a chronic lung condition,” university officials said last month.

Muma filled in for Bardo at WSU commencement ceremonies Dec. 16.

File video -- Wichita State president John Bardo told a gathering on Friday that the University had accepted an invitation to join the American Athletic Conference. (April 7, 2017)